ISLAMABAD: The water woes of the three million population of Quetta are worsening with each passing day as the underground water level has further deepened to over 300 metres, while the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has failed in finding a practical solution.
Quetta requires some 200 million gallons of water daily to run routine affairs, but Wasa could only manage to provide 100 million gallons and the demand is increasing due to rapid surge in population.
Quetta Wasa official Rana Amir Latif told APP that daily need of water in Quetta is 200 million gallons, however, the agency is providing just 100 million gallons per day. As a result, half of the population’s requirements are not fulfilled.
He said Wasa was operating 400 tube wells in Quetta which were insufficient to meet the requisite demand.
He said Quetta requires some hundred tube wells for which the government was requested to provide financial resources.
He said that the only solution to this ever-increasing problem was the construction of Bolan, Burjul Aziz and Halab dams, which must be taken up by the new governments to be formed.
Latif said Mangi dam’s construction was in process; however, it would take time to get this facility operational.
He said the “tanker mafia” was operating some 2,000 commercial tube wells in different areas of Quetta due to which water reserves have come under intense pressure.
He said the government could not enforce the groundwater extraction rules due to political influence which was encouraging water-selling mafia to mint money.
Meanwhile, the people have also complained of acute water shortage and of the “tanker mafia”.
“After school, I have to fetch potable water from a nearby area. The entire area is deprived of drinking water. We have never received a single drop of water from Wasa, Quetta,” complained Asif, a resident of Killi Kharotabad.
Abbas Khan, a resident of Surki Road, another victim of water scarcity, said the quarters concerned were providing water just for 20 to 30 minutes after two days, which was not enough to meet household needs.
Fazal Lashari, a resident of Qambrani Road said, “We are left on the mercy of water tankers. We are compelled to pay Rs1,000 to Rs2,000 for each water tank to meet our daily needs.”
Abdul Khaliq Achackzai said, “The government must ensure that no new commercial tube wells are operated and existing ones should also be regulated.”
He said dams were the only practical solution to the issue which must be constructed on priority to help meet human and agricultural requirements in the province.